News and Press Releases

Bonner Indicted for Identity Theft, Theft of Income Tax Refunds and using Debit Cards to Steal Income Tax Refunds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2011

Montgomery, Alabama - On December 20, 2011, Robert Jerrell Bonner of Montgomery, Alabama, was arrested for theft of over $90,000 in income tax refunds, fraudulent use of access devices, that is debit cards; and identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. “Bonner preyed on unsuspecting people, stole their identities and used those stolen identities to steal money from the public coffers. This criminal behavior will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted vigorously,” said U.S. Attorney Beck.

On March 18, 2011, Bonner was found in possession of 15 Green Dot Debit cards. These debit cards were electronically loaded with stolen income tax refunds and were issued in the names of people whose identities had also been stolen. Bonner and those working with him cashed the Green Dot Debit Cards and stole the money.

Bonner is specifically charged with stealing over $90,000 in income tax refunds from the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. He is further charged with 15 Counts of access device fraud in that he received currency from debit cards loaded with fraudulent tax refunds in excess of $1,000.00, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(5). The grand jury also charged Bonner with transferring, possessing, and using the identification of 15 people, that is, Bonner used 15 people’s names, date of births, and Social Security numbers to steal tax refund money from the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1).

“Identity theft is an ongoing problem in the United States and the use of stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns is on the rise,” stated Resident Agent in Charge Clayton Slay, U.S. Secret Service in Montgomery, Alabama. Slay continued by saying “This was a collaborative effort between the Montgomery Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office, local bank investigators and the U.S. Secret Service dating back to October 2010. With the assistance of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and through the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Bonner and others are being prosecuted for their involvement in this scheme. The U.S. Secret Service will remain proactive in the investigation of individuals and groups associated with these types of crimes.”

“Identity theft is an ongoing problem in the United States and the use of stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns is on the rise,” stated Resident Agent in Charge Clayton Slay, U.S. Secret Service in Montgomery, Alabama. Slay continued by saying “This was a collaborative effort between the Montgomery Police Department, U.S. Attorney’s Office, local bank investigators and the U.S. Secret Service dating back to October 2010. With the assistance of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and through the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Bonner and others are being prosecuted for their involvement in this scheme. The U.S. Secret Service will remain proactive in the investigation of individuals and groups associated with these types of crimes.”

If convicted, Bonner is facing a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison. There is no parole from federal prison. An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Brent Woodall is prosecuting the case.

 

PRESS CONTACT: Clark Morris
Email: usaalm.press@usdoj.gov
Telephone: (334) 551-1755
Fax: (334) 223-7617

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